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Chief Jack's Galley

There's a place for people who laugh at nothing...


October 26th, 2006

(no subject) @ 08:27 pm

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So, I was presented with this .zip file full of the components of a website, with instructions to unload it and make it work. Thing was, it'll apparently only work under IIS (Microsoft's web server) because it needs the FrontPage extensions, and I'm only familiar with Tomcat (Apache's web environment for Java server pages), and I have three servers that all require the use of Apache's web server (another piece of software that links all of the web environments together). So, I install IIS on one of the servers, and figure out (1) how to change the port number so it doesn't interfere with Apache Web Server and (2) how to get it to run with the other applications using Jakarta-Tomcat. It was a lot easier than I thought it would be. Either that, or I'm a computer genius. I guess I can eventually add web administrator to the ever-growing list of things that I can do (I've already figured out how to be a DBA with Microsoft SQL Server and Oracle). I think I've learned more about this stuff in the two years I've been with this client than I did in the 20 years I was with my old company.

There's a lot to be said for self-employment. I have no health insurance and no benefits package to speak of, but I've discovered just how dispensable those kinds of things are. And, starting next year I'll be filing two tax returns (one for my company, one for me) in order to keep from having to make a hefty contribution to the 2008 Democratic Party war chest save money on my taxes. (I guess the difference will be paid to my accountant.) But the real benefit is that it's forced me to think outside the box and do things that I had never done before. I remember some advice that another self-employed consultant gave me when I first started doing this: if they ask you, tell them you can do it. Then figure it out on your own. And I've done just that. I only wish that I had started doing this twenty years ago, when I was younger, thinner and better looking and all of this Internet stuff was still a gleam in someone's eye. (No, I'm sorry, Algore invented it in the '60's, didn't he? It did so well, he invented Global Warming.)

You know, I'm getting to the stage where I see myself in the mirror and ask myself "Who the hell is that old man?"

We received the DVD "Bob Newhart's Button-Down Concert" today, and watched it during lunch. His material is 40 years old, and it's still really funny. My favorites of his are Raleigh introducing tobacco to civilization and Abe Lincoln talking to his PR man. If you've never heard him, find his albums and listen to them.

Anyway, it's 10 minutes to "CSI:" and I'm not going to get any quiet unless I'm present in front of the TV while it's on, so I'm going to shut down and head downstairs. See you tomorrow.
 
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From:lisapt
Date:October 27th, 2006 02:06 am (UTC)
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I'm going to force my computer geek husband treetown to read this. I'm working full time and he is home with the kid most of the time (he is still working eight hour days). He wants to start consulting and teaching and such now, while I'm bringing in the income and health insurance and such.

He also has a chance to understand about what you are writing about. I do way to much theory to know anything practical these days.
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From:lisapt
Date:October 27th, 2006 02:44 am (UTC)
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And my brain exits stage right. I ment he is working 8 hours a week -- at paying job that is. He watches the kid, does most of the housework, shops and all that stuff. I shudder to think what all that would cost if we had to pay someone to do it.
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From:john_holton
Date:October 27th, 2006 01:41 pm (UTC)
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Mary has been a stay-at-home wife most of our marriage, and I know exactly what you're saying. One thing you might want to remember is that a lot of work is now of the nature that it can be done from home. I rarely go to the office, because there's no space for me there. Here, I have a fairly large room, and I'm able to do everything that I can at the office. Plus, I can set my own hours as long as I get the work done, I don't contribute to the traffic, I'm happier and more productive, etc.
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From:lisapt
Date:October 27th, 2006 02:45 pm (UTC)
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I love working from home. My company let me to a great deal of that for the last several years (when my son was small). They even gave me a dual boot laptop, which was great because I could work on C code under linux without any internet conductivity. Now that I'm full time again, I've taken on some projects which have to be done here. But I still do what I can at home (usually lots of math). I love the flexablity.
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From:john_holton
Date:October 27th, 2006 04:01 pm (UTC)
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Now, do you and Twila work together? I know that some of her friends here do.

You mentioned doing coding. Have you ever heard of a company there in AA called Extensity? They were purchased by my old company (Geac), and now that company in turn has been purchased by Infor. Not that my association with any of them has been all that great, mind you....
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From:lisapt
Date:October 27th, 2006 05:46 pm (UTC)
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Nope, I don’t work with Twila, but we do live in the same town. I never heard of that company. Technical places seem to come and go very fast around here. I’m afraid all I do is engineering code, so it doesn’t look pretty, it is a bear to use, but it works dang it. Did you ever used to live around A2, or have you just worked for companies that do? I’m so glad you were able to dump the corporate stuff and work your way.
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From:john_holton
Date:October 27th, 2006 09:06 pm (UTC)
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I've been to AA twice, both in the same week, both to see Twila and Bruce. I was working in Kalamazoo for a week, and booked my trip so that I would fly in and out of Detroit and be able to stop there for a visit. Later that week I drove from Kalamazoo to hear a concert with them at (damned if I can remember the name of the club downtown where she sees a lot of folk acts).

Twila and I met on the Ghostletters mailing list. Her Valyn Corey character and my Mary Cecelia O'Brian character were married and lived in A2, and their stepdaughter Abby (another of my characters) went to school at Community High. I spent a lot of time writing about their time there, and learned a lot about it by looking at maps and reading websites. Amazing thing, this Internet.

Extensity was a part of my ex-company toward the end of my years with them. Allegedly my manager's manager worked there, but I never met him. I forget what their business was, but I wasn't part of it anyway.
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From:lisapt
Date:October 28th, 2006 01:09 am (UTC)
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You probably went to "The Ark." treetown and I talk about going all the time, but have yet to actually do more than pass by. And we've lived here over nine years now.
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From:john_holton
Date:October 28th, 2006 03:36 pm (UTC)
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That's the one. I thought it was a pretty good place, myself. Of course, there was something about having to buy a membership to have a beer...

Chief Jack's Galley

There's a place for people who laugh at nothing...